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What’s Your Fall Color Palette?

» 20 October 2014 » In Decorating, Planning, Style » Comments Off on What’s Your Fall Color Palette?

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I don’t know what happened to September, and now it’s mid-October!  The crisp mornings and colorful foliage are a welcome sight.  To me, it’s also the beginning of the holiday season.  As I cleaned out my closet and moved my summer clothes in storage and my winter clothes in, I took a look at my color palette. 

I was heading for an out of town wedding and wanted to see what I had to wear for a fall wedding.  However, most of my winter clothes are 50 Shades of Black!  I decided that I needed to add color to my wardrobe!  With the grey days of winter ahead, I feel it’s necessary to add a pop of color to my basics.  It’s just that one small pop that can change your mood, and make you feel a little better with the winter months ahead.

fall trees

Just as in your wardrobe, I feel a little pop of color is necessary in your home.  Whether it’s a new throw, colorful dishes for the holidays or a fresh arrangement from the grocery to add to your color palette.  Thoughts go directly to the colors of autumn:  Various shades of orange, red, yellow, green, brown and even purple!  Simple ideas for arrangements for the holidays can brighten up any grey day ahead.

As we begin our fall and winter season, changing out our clothes, mattress flipping (don’t forget!), preparing our yard for winter, enjoying the last bit of warm days to breaking out the evening wood fires, crock pots and our comfort food recipes, all involving glorious shades of color…What is your favorite fall color palette?

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What Are Your 100 Things?

» 12 August 2014 » In Organization » Comments Off on What Are Your 100 Things?

Can you hear it, the bitter-sweet sound of silence in your home?  This is moving month and a big transition time for most families.  Gone are the lazy days of summer while we move back into the scheduling, mounds of paperwork, lists, and new schedules for the new school year.  I have just gotten back from moving our oldest (grad student) into her seventh “home”.  Needless to say, when a black cat crossed our path the day before our move, I didn’t realize the “bad omen” would really happen.  It was a long week filled with stress, frustration, exhaustion, tears (on both our ends) and some life lessons. Overall, much was learned on what to check out, asking for what you want, and standing your ground.  In the end, she will come out better and stronger and with more experience for her eighth, and hopefully final, move for a while.  I was so glad I was there to help and that she asked.

locker

Our second child has packed up and moved early to his respective college (a junior) into a house this year.  He did not want mom to help, but we did do a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond and the Dollar Store for some kitchen essentials.  It’s been fun watching him decide and realize what he needs to cook for himself.  I love that he’s asking for some of my recipes and I am more than happy to share, except for some of my signature desserts – I still like getting requests from him and his roommates to make these.

We are now preparing to move our third child off to college.  He has been awaiting this much anticipated event.  Even though he’s number three, and with experience under our belt, it’s still a plethora of emotion and energy.  We are ready to watch him take off and see where he lands.  He has made a good choice for himself and I have no doubt will be successful.

We now have one left at home beginning her junior year of high school.   As most of you know, this is a big transition year as well.  Driving solo, working, sports, oh yeah – college also starts to pop up on the radar.  It will be another transition for the three of us.  It’s still very much summer here in temperature, but a bitter-sweet change as the new routine, schedules, school paperwork and supplies go out the door to begin another school year.

100 thing

 Through all of our children’s moves and transitions, it causes me to put on my staging hat and think about cleaning out and organization.  An old friend of mine (years, not age), mother of six, told me about a book, The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno.  In the mist of all of this chaos and transition I have begun to read this book…it’s good.  The premise is about what 100 things you absolutely need to live.  Not the basics, food, water, shelter, but “stuff”.  You really only need 100 things and it has been an interesting read.   I’m not saying you need to live in a sparsely decorated home, but when you are thinking about moving, downsizing, etc., think about the 100 things, what you really need to take with you and why.

So as we are down to three Little Indians living in our home, I’ve told my husband we will begin another clean out since our third one has moved away…he doesn’t think we have anything left to clean out, but yet, we still manage to find more “stuff”.  I am putting some of the 100 things rules into play.  Our kids will thank us, hopefully, one day when WE will need their help to move, downsize or transition into assisted living.  For many of my clients who are now in that situation, it can be an overwhelming and daunting process.  So, why not beat it to the punch?  I have learned that holding onto things that we think our kids might need or want really doesn’t apply, so why not get rid of it either through a donation or selling it to someone who can use it TODAY? Be creative with what you are donating….books were a big ticket item for me this year, titles our children had to read for school or popular series, so I donated to a school of choice for others to enjoy.  Furniture is another item to sell or donate, and the list goes on.  So as the dust settles, in my home at least, I begin to apply the 100 Thing Challenge Concept.  What are your 100 things? 

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Happy Summer!

» 24 June 2014 » In Decorating » Comments Off on Happy Summer!

HORJD305_Jamie-Durie-Hanging-Swings_4x3_lg

Well, it’s late-June here in Kentucky and a full moon tonight.  Usually it is a now sweltering 90+ degrees outside, and the air is so heavy with humidity it’s too hot even in the evenings to sit out on your porch.  If you do, any little air movement is greatly appreciated.

After our brutal and miserably frigid winter, I swore I would not complain this summer when I have sweat dripping from my elbows and down my legs and my hair looks like I stuck my finger in a socket.  But I digress…this has been a beautiful June so far.  As I am sitting out on my back porch (one of my favorite spots in my home) during this perfect temperate, humidity free evening, smelling my fragrant trees, I cannot help but write the importance of a back yard oasis.

Our porch is one of my favorite spots of our home (oh yeah, I mentioned that already 😉  ).  It’s a place where we can have nice conversations, listen to music, read, eat, nap, and enjoy some peace and quiet as our kids run through the house looking for us.  It’s a place where we like to entertain, cook and use most of the year until it’s too cold to stay out.  I also love our backyard, where I’m always tweaking, opting for trees and greenery instead of a fence for privacy. After 11 years I think it’s finally filled in with enough color and privacy to enjoy.  We put a lot of thought and planning into our backyard, making it an extension of our home.  Even our teenagers bring back their friends, hang out, talk, listen to music, build a fire and of course roast marshmallows or make s’mores any time of the year.

The trend today as in the past has been making your backyard an extension of your home.  Outdoor furniture choices have improved 1000% in both style and comfort, some of it so nice that you could use it indoors as well!  Covered patios, screened in porches, outdoor speakers for soothing music and yes, even TV’s (although this is one area I have put my foot down on!) have made outdoor living even more enticing.  Outdoor lighting is important as well.  There are now a plethora of options available.  Be creative when thinking of an outdoor bar space and eating area.  What is the feel you want?  Do you want to include a vegetable garden or an herb garden or simply potted herbs?  How much maintenance do you want to deal with all year?  What materials would you like to use? 

Whatever you decide you want to create in your backyard, it will be a reflection of your lifestyle…meant to be enjoyed!  So I wish you many more summer nights to enjoy outside with whatever beverage of choice, a good book or company, and fabulous conversation. Happy Summer!

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Time to Celebrate!

» 14 May 2014 » In Organization, Planning » No Comments

derby

Horses, hats, Mint Juleps,  Lillys, Mother’s Day, Graduations, birthdays…May is an incredibly busy time for us in Kentucky.  It seems like in the rush of this month there are celebrations every weekend!

For those of you who don’t know, the First Saturday in May, EVERY year, is like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa all rolled up into one.  There are events beginning two weeks before the blessed day, and a constant party, flutter and focus on fashion from shoes to hats/fascinators for both men and women.  It’s like the Oscars and Academy Awards wrapped up into one. I’ve never been so coiffed, buffed, polished and groomed for this favorite weekend in our home.

This is also the time to motivate me (actually it started in March, when it was still cold and grey, wishing for spring) because we have guests that arrive and stay for this event along with hosting a dinner party. Think spring house cleaning on steroids.  Those projects that you have put off are now front and center.  New lighting to replace the old, turned pink lighting?  Check! Landscaping completed in a timely manner, replacing all things dead that did not survive this past winter? Check!  Guestrooms…new bedding, sheets, mattresses, Derby themed soaps, etc….Check!  Cleaning out closets in the guest rooms that held all that “stuff” to use for another time? Check! And don’t forget food, hydrate, food, hydrate and more food!

bed for blog

To me entertaining is so much fun.  It is important to me to make sure that guests feel at home and have everything they need.  Make sure the beds are comfortable, because how often do you sleep in your guest room?  I tweeted earlier about an article I read on tips for your guest rooms.  Doesn’t hurt to check it out!  Also, cleaning out makes me feel better that that lovely chore that’s been put off for forever is now complete.  I feel like I am “nesting”.  Good thing as our third one heads off to college in the fall, my husband knows that we will be cleaning out again!  He made the comment the other day that there is nothing left to clean out…au contraire mon mari, there are still more closets to conquer!

So as we push on toward graduations, end of the school year and the transition into summer, now is the time to get organized, regenerate and make ready for those lazy hot days poolside, on the beach, at a ballpark or wherever this summer takes you.

Cheers to the rest of this month and Happy Belated Mother’s Day to those well deserving mom’s out there; congratulations and best wishes on your future endeavors to all of our graduates; and Happy Birthday to those Taurus’ in my life!

 

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Top 10 List: Items to Have in Your Home by Age 30

» 07 April 2014 » In Planning » Comments Off on Top 10 List: Items to Have in Your Home by Age 30

I recently tweeted, face-booked, etc., a reference to an interesting article from Elle Décor.  It was a list of “10 Things You Must Have in Your Home By Age 30.”  I thought they were good suggestions.  As I try to look back to when I was 30, what I was doing at that time in my life, I’d like to add a few comments to the suggestions:

 

Bookshelves

1. Art You Love:  I think this an ongoing investment and tastes change over time.  I do feel that art is an investment and when you DO find something that you absolutely can’t live without, then it’s a purchase.  I still have art in our home that has meaning or it’s something that is timeless.  Mixing styles in a home can be a great conversation piece.

 

2. An Organized Book Shelf:  I think a bookshelf can be personalized with not just books, but items you love and have meaning as well.  Do I think we should stuff the bookshelves?  Not necessarily (this is the staging side of me) but your shelves could include a special piece of artwork, along with your favorite all time books.

 

Newmarket Bathroom After

3. Matching Towels:  I don’t think I had matching towels, nor did I realize how ratty my towels were until I decided to hit Bed Bath and Beyond.  I remember speaking with a friend one day and she referenced “Guest Towels”.  At the time, we had at least 2.5 children and “Guest Towels” didn’t exist in our home.  Needless to say, when you are at the point where your brown towels all of a sudden start to have bleach stains and look like a leopard or you are using your towels to dry your car, it’s time to invest in some nice ones.  You can always find some good deals.  Just remember to CUT UP the old towels for rags.  I still seem to find some “rag towels” in my closet. 

 

4. A Plant:  Depending on your lifestyle, not all of us have a green thumb.  However, a little green in your house can brighten up any spot in your home.  If you don’t have a green thumb, or you forget to water the “Love Fern”, then just picking up some “thanks for being you” flowers can brighten up your week.  You can find them for a decent price at a farmers market, or your local grocery.  Another thought is having potted herbs in the kitchen to use for cooking. With spring trying to make an appearance, a handful of colorful tulips, some simple roses or a small pot of rosemary or basil can definitely bring a positive change.

 

Bedroom After (use)

5. A Nice Mattress and Headboard:  Yep, college days are over!  Yes, you might have a mattress that could be leftover from college or your first apartment and just a bed frame.  It’s time to upgrade to that Pillow Top including a headboard! Time to finish your room!  A neutral headboard can go with anything and help complete your serenity room…yes, after a long day of work, travel, maybe tucking in the kids, it’s nice to invest in a headboard, and I will go one step further – really nice sheets.  I didn’t think there was a difference, but au contraire, mes amis, there IS!

 

6. A Collection:  Ok, I’m a little hesitant on this one.  (Yes, this is the staging side of me coming out again!).  My husband has a collection of golf flags from courses he has played that I have framed and have hanging in the basement.  I’m not sure how I feel about bobble heads, or school flags or license plates, (no offense); I can’t help but thinking of them as dust collectors (more work).  What collections do I have?  Hmmmm, I don’t have any! 

 

7. Bathroom Accessories that Aren’t Plastic:  This goes with #3, having your spa-like area.  Nothing is better than coming home after a long day to a space that feels like a resort.  You don’t have to have a lot of accessories; however, investing in nice ones definitely creates a better look. 

 

8. A Favorite Candle (or the knowledge that you are not a Scent Person):  I’ve never personally been a big candle or scent person.  I don’t like heavy, overwhelming scents, perfumes or colognes.  I’m pretty simple, liking the smell of fresh laundry and soap.  However, the older I have gotten, I have found a few favorite candle scents that I like and use when I am working or when I need to decompress. I usually stick with beach scents, or some light, spring scents.  So, find what your style or level of scent is, if any! 

 

Crooked Lane bedroom after

9. Two Bedside Tables:  Once again, we are back to the bedroom.  Two bedside tables (no they don’t have to match, but same height would be nice) complete the balance in your room.  It can provide more storage and a great place for all of those stacks of books, magazines and papers and notepads. 

 

10. A Luxurious Throw:  As we are beginning to thaw out from one of the worst winters I can remember, investing in a wonderful soft throw can be just the ticket when it is bone chilling cold. You can hunker down and watch that movie with your bowl of popcorn.  It can be textured (I love that) or have a pop of color that can add a lot to your den or bedroom.

 

This is a great starting point. What would you change/add to your list?  A Keurig? A Kitchenaid Mixer? An Apple TV?  I would love to hear from my 30-something and under clients their thoughts or wish list by the time the big 3-0 hits.

 

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Welcome to Spring!

» 06 March 2014 » In Decorating, Organization » No Comments

Groundhog

mags

bedding

Garage Mess 

After this last bout of crazy weather, I have always been tongue and cheek in going “Ground Hog Hunting”.  Today, as it’s sunny and approaching a heat wave of 50, I decided to Google “Ground Hog Hunting”.  It’s amazing what came up!  I read one blog of a man who gave a detailed description on how to approach and decide where to hunt ground hogs.  There are topics on lock down to where you have to become a member to find out the “How To’s.” As I am sure many of you are just like me, I have a serious case of spring fever.  I am longing for the days of flip flops, sandals, clothes with color, the smell of new grass and the vivid colors of spring trees and flowers in bloom.

 

As I am slowly thawing out, I am gravitating toward the calendar and busy with the countdown to Derby (yes, it’s less than two months away), not to mention Ash Wednesday just started.  I’m giving up as many carbs as I can and soda and trying to get back into an exercise routine.  It’s going to be a long 40 days…

 

On the flip side, we’re now starting to get spring catalogs for clothes, plantings and outdoor furnishings.  We’re also starting to think about our spring and summer projects or maybe even putting a property on the market. Perhaps we are even thinking about creative ways to freshen up our home for the change of seasons or those projects that we have been putting off due to weather.

 

Just like clothes, home design changes with color, fabrics, and textures.  During the winter months, I have been (other than eating) cleaning out, reorganizing, and updating with changes that don’t require gutting a room.  These changes can be as simple as updating new bedding, painting a room, refinishing and recovering some furniture, update some lighting, as well as adding a few new pieces, which can give you just enough of a fresh look without a total redo…

 

All of the above also work toward selling a home and getting the most bang for your buck.  However, the biggie, as soon as it’s warm enough, whether you are moving or not, is to CLEAN OUT!!  We’ve started with our garages and we’re going to hit the basement AGAIN.  If you haven’t used something in the last year, GET RID OF IT!  That box of clothes you are saving to donate, fill it up and TAKE IT!  Those bikes and skateboards the kids have outgrown?  OUT!  This is the time for new beginnings, refreshment, and updates.  It’s a great feeling and you will be glad you did it!

 

So, as we turn our clocks forward this month and count down to the first day of spring (March 20), what’s your plan for the season?

  Adam's barNM Dining Room Newmarket Family Room After

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Thanks For a Great Year!

» 10 December 2013 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

It hasn’t been long since we finished Thanksgiving Turkey and the hustle and bustle for Christmas has already begun.  Making lists, checking twice, studying for finals, getting ready for holiday parties, dances, etc.  I know the holidays are a time to be thankful, as every day should be.  So, for the last two days I have been wandering around trying to figure out what to write about…and then it hit me:  There are people I see every day in passing as part of my routine, some not as much as others, but they always make me feel welcome, like “Norm” from Cheers.  With the holidays approaching, I am always thankful for my family and friends in their support of my business.  In addition, I would like to add some other special mentions:

 

  • All the clients I have worked with this year.  It has been a pleasure to get to know you and share your happiness in the work and success we have created together.
  • All of the sub-contractors that I work with and know have my back and that I truly trust.  I know I can count on you and truly appreciate your expertise in each one of your fields.  I hope you feel the same about me.
  • Vendors such as Digs, Sew Unique and Merridian that I have worked with both personally and professionally.  Your talents and friendship mean a great deal.

 

I leave you with a few pictures of some of my favorite people with whom I consider friends along with a peek inside their stores…check them out, they will make you feel like your coming home.

I wish everyone a Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas and Cheers to 2014!

Santé!

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Did you know even elves can be naughty?! This little elf at Morgan Stanely had to promise not to
throw snowballs at reindeer!

 

 

 

 

Sew Unique

     

 

 

 Here are just a few of the wonderful gifts offered at Sew Unique during this Holiday season!
Thanks for all of your help through-out the year!

 

 

 

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 These ladies at The Cheddar Box always take care of me and my sweet tea addiction!
Thank you all so much for keeping me caffeinated and happy!
 

 

 

All Digs

 

 

As many of you may already know, Digs is one of my favorite go-to establishments to visit for clients as well as myself. Thank you so much to the entire crew for their generosity and eagerness to assist me. It is always a pleasure working with you all!

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Add Warmth to Your Space

» 31 October 2013 » In Decorating, Style » No Comments

Area Rug Styles

Area Rug Styles

Coming down from the sugar high of Halloween, November brings many thoughts to mind – cooler temperatures, lots of color, and time change when days are shorter and nights are longer.  It’s the beginning of the holiday season, parties, fabulous food and the gathering of family and friends.

Yes, we have tips on decorating for the holidays, favorite recipes and cheer.  I also think of warmth, roasting fires and how rugs can come into play.

 

Just returning from a trip to Market, I ran across thousands of rug manufacturers…I saw some of the most beautiful rugs imaginable that fit any style of home.  From bright colors, to muted Orientals of various countries, rugs are the perfect accent piece, the icing on the cake, if you will.  

Area Rug StylesArea Rug StylesRugs can finish off a room and completely change the look and feel while adding warmth and color to an area.  There are so many textures, patterns, materials and colors to choose from, your floor is a blank canvas…

 

 

So as we enter this holiday season and you want to spruce up and/or put some finishing touches on your space, don’t forget about the blank canvas you stand on…what piece would work for you?  Let us help…Cheers!

 

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What’s Your Style?

» 09 October 2013 » In Decorating, Style » No Comments

 

White Contemporary Decor What’s your style?  I have been asked that question numerous times and I have to honest, it has evolved over the years.

When I was a newlywed, (1980’s) I was into the opposite of what I grew up with…greys, apricots, sage green and LOTS of brass and glass, white carpets and couches! I was on the verge of contemporary…

As the children came along, brass and glass end tables, white couches and light colored carpet did not bode well with small hands and sippy cups.

 

Jewel Toned Living Room Our home became more jeweled tones with hard wood floors, area rugs, and durable fabrics. I chose darker colors and lighter walls (although I had a Navy living room) to hide spills, finger prints, etc.

 

We have never been a “Formal” family.  Never has a room gone unused for “Special Occasions”.  Over the years, my love for everything French has evolved.  I’d say “Country French” without the reds, blues and yellows.  To me, Country French is more weathered pieces like stone, hardwood floors, muted and earth tones – browns, beiges, terra cotta and muted greens…

 

Country French Decor

I love the weathered furniture.  Not to worry if something gets nicked or scratched a little because it adds character to the piece.  I do love faux finishes…Venetian plasters, textured fireplaces for a stone look, painted and weathered fireplaces, and book shelves to give those pieces a look of their own.  You can mix in some lighting with a little bling in certain areas.  I also bring in color through fabrics and art.

Your style should reflect you and your family.  Yes, the “It” color was Emerald Green, however, trends come and go.  Take a look at your wardrobe.   What pieces are your favorites?  What colors do you gravitate toward when you are selecting clothing?  It’s similar for your home.  What colors make you happy?  Do you like the very bright colors or do you tend to go more neutral?  Do you like antiques or a more streamlined contemporary look?  Do you like an eclectic look?  Mix and match?  When starting a project, pictures are worth a thousand words.  The more Pinterest Boards, Houzz boards or magazine clippings you can pull together…the more you will see your style evolve.

So don’t panic, everyone has their own unique style, and it may take time to find the style that is your favorite.  What matters most is when you come home, you are happy.

*N.B: These are not photos of my actual home.

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September 2013

» 04 September 2013 » In Organization » No Comments

Holiday Wreath Storage and Display

Nope, I’m NOT pregnant!  However, since everyone is back to school and the dust has settled, moving into the routine of fall I have been “Nesting”.  You know moms out there…the time when we are busy cleaning, organizing, etc., right before a baby arrives. 

I have been on a mission at our home…it is time for de-cluttering and organizing!!  My family loves this time (ha, ha) as I am on a rampage of cleaning everything out.

Last weekend, as we were packing up our son to go off to college and I was digging around for one of our many sets of risers, I couldn’t even WALK into our attic.  So, with my husband’s help and a few others with muscle, we loaded up a BOX truck FULL of furniture.  Items that I was holding onto for… it had been so long I forgot.  Why was I keeping this “stuff”?  The kids don’t want or need it.   They have their own style.

Old outdoor furniture, girl’s bedroom furniture, trundle bed, and our old Master Bedroom furniture…the list goes on.  I can now walk into our attic, have our outdoor wreaths hung up so I can see them (just a few seasonal, really) and see the floor.

Now of course, I do have a sentimental side.  I still have in my possession baby dolls, Thomas the Tank Engine train, etc., and keeping the costume/dress up box because the college kids still use it for Halloween.  What still needs to be eliminated are old Christmas decorations that I don’t put up anymore, battered Halloween and Easter decorations, board games, and books, books, and more books.

Attic Storage and Organization

Am I a tosser?  Regarding some items, yes.  But mostly, I find someone or someplace to donate the items that are wanted or needed.  So the big questions that I ask my clients all the time are, “Why are you holding onto this?  Do you need it?”  So, I asked myself the same questions.  If I come up with an answer that begins with “Just in case, I MIGHT need or the kids might…” then IT NEEDS TO GO!  Half the time I have found things I forgot I had saved!!

 

I have to say, after last weekend (albeit, sore and bone tired) I can’t help but feel cathartic and a HUGE sense of accomplishment.  Not only did we clean out the attic (yes, I even vacuumed the floorJ), but four other storage closets AND my staging storage area is also being revamped.  There is still more to be completed, but it’s a great start and an even better feeling!!

 

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